Published on October 2nd, 2017 | by Zorbz
REVIEW: Knack II
Summary: Knack is back, the sequel to the Playstation 4 launch game people never thought would happen. So is Knack 2 a saving grace or another missed step in the Sony first party lineup?
Concept: Knack and co are back at it once again saving humanity, but this time not just from the Trolls/Orcs/Shreks but from a mysterious Robot army. After saving the world the first time, Knack and his human buddy (I can’t remember his name and honestly it doesn’t matter) thought they were done and it was time to kick it back, but like any super hero-esque story, you destroy one threat only for a bigger one to emerge and this is exactly what this game is all about. Sure it’s formulaic but it’s marketed somewhat as a kids game so you can’t be expecting them to create some intense grandiose story, but what is here is entertaining none the less.
Suprisingly this screenshot doesn’t do this environment justice
Graphics: Visually I don’t really understand what Knack is going for. The characters look like some what deformed Pixar-like creations but they are set in a more realistic looking setting which confuses me. If they had a hyper stylized colourful world then I would totally understand the aesthetic, but it just looks odd at times having these stunning vistas with cartoony characters roaming around. I feel they missed the mark here. Either way the visuals can be pretty spectacular even if they don’t often gel well. The outdoor environments are where Knack 2 shines through, from lush forest and mountain areas laden with crystals, to an impressive desert environment. It definitely can provide a visual feast for your eyes, but it’s some of the city scapes that just don’t get the job done.
Gameplay: An action adventure with platforming, that’s my jam and surprisingly Knack 2 is pretty solid. Attacks feel great, animations are smooth, platforming is solid and the ability to swap between Knacks smaller and larger forms mixes things up a bit. Gaining new moves and abilities comes at the right moments throughout the game to keep things fresh, however my main gripe is with the skill tree as you can’t really choose what you want to upgrade as you need to purchase all upgrades in one section before you can move to the next. I feel this is a missed opportunity to provide flexibility and aside from that leveling up feels like a grind and is not as exciting as you would hope it could be. The addition of couch co-op though is definitely a big plus as the game can be tough for kids, so having the co-op option allows both kids and parents to have a great shared experience. Definitely a lot of fun to be had.
Just a bit of impalement
Sound: The music in Knack is well done and has some nice scores even though nothing will blow you away but it gets the job done. The voice acting can be pretty stiff at times but it’s not cringe worthy fortunately. I think they really missed the mark with Knacks voice though as he has this really deep soulful voice which just doesn’t fit the lighthearted tone. I feel everything needs to just be a bit less serious and more upbeat, same with the visuals as i mentioned earlier. Either way it’s all pretty well done, just nothing to bring it up to a great level.
Awesomeness: Honestly I commend Sony for sticking to their guns and not letting the negative feedback sway them for continuing the franchise because as much crap as Knack gets it really isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Is it amazing? no, but this sequel pushes it into the right direction and for someone who wants more triple A action platformers I say bring it on. There is still a place for these types of games amongst all the hero shooters, online multiplayer and loot whoring games.
Not sure if Knack or frosty Wolverine
Final Word: Knack 2 may not be this grandiose experience that you will play on a yearly basis and have nostalgia for in the years to come but it is definitely a solid game that will scratch that itch for fans of this genre of game, especially those of you out there craving for a great couch co-op experience.
Out of 5 bugs